DeLauro Statement on Senior HHS Officials’ Refusal to Testify at Hearing on Family Separation, Unaccompanied Children Program
WASHINGTON, DC (February 22, 2019) — Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) today released the following statement after senior officials at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) refused to testify at next week’s Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on family separation and the Unaccompanied Children program: Reviewing the Administration’s Unaccompanied Children Program.
“Congressional oversight of the Unaccompanied Children program is a top priority of mine as Chair of the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee, which is charged with funding the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Along with my colleagues, we will get to the bottom of the Trump administration’s policy of government-sanctioned child abuse and persist in holding those who implemented this cruel policy accountable.”
“What HHS fails to mention is that they did not offer to make available Scott Lloyd, former Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, or Steven Wagner, Acting Assistant Secretary of Administration for Children and Families during implementation of the family separation policy—even at a future date. Instead, they offered alternate witnesses. As such, HHS has still not confirmed it will allow public testimony from the senior officials who were in charge of the Unaccompanied Children program during the development and implementation of the family separation policy. Those are the people who need to be questioned, not the officials who were brought in afterwards to clean up their mess after thousands of children were separated from their families.”